Why use a real estate agent?

This blog was originally published on KVKL’s website on 23 July 2019 

For most people, finding a new home is the biggest deal of their lives. Almost all of your personal assets are at stake. Recently, there have been many different services available for self-sellers. However, the popularity of these services has not risen as expected. The reason for this is quite clear. Selling your home yourself is a risk for both the seller and the buyer. 

Do we fix our own teeth and medicate ourselves based on diagnoses we find online? A real estate agent is a housing transactions professional whose job is to make sure that the home exchange takes place safely and in accordance with law for both parties.

Buyers should always try to find a listing for sale through an agent. 

The buyer can also give a purchase assignment, in which case the agent will look for a suitable home for the buyer. In this case, the buyer pays the commission, but only when the transaction is concluded. 

There are many financial and technical risks involved in finding a new home, and these must be managed in a way that protects the assets of the parties involved – and their sleep. It is difficult for a self-seller to prove that the buyer is in earnest and will commit to a contractual penalty if they were to withdraw from the transaction. The seller may have already made commitments on a new home and the situation could be catastrophic at worst if a professional broker has not worked with the buyer to draw up a formal offer to purchase, in which the buyer commits to the transaction and any penalties. 

The technical risks in a transaction without an agent are always greater when it comes to reporting on the condition of the property, its standard of equipment and the potential debt portion and maintenance charge costs. On the other hand, the agent is bound by a legal obligation to investigate matters and provide information. 

Buyers are taking a big risk if they do not buy their home through a broker. 

Research has also shown that a Finnish buyer will not want to come to an open house if there is no neutral party present. In this case, the seller will not be able to contact all potential buyers, and the price of the home may be lower or the transaction may not take place at all. 

Research has shown that young buyers in particular are apprehensive about purchasing their first home and want as much information and certainty as possible. This certainty and information can only be provided by a professional estate agent. 

The agent is also a sales professional and knows how to choose the best descriptions and selling points for the listing. An agent has the best chance of reaching buyers through social media, for example, because to do so successfully requires technology that is tailored to selling homes. 

Setting the right price is crucial when starting a sale. 

Mispricing can easily ruin the attractiveness of a home for sale and, on the other hand, without the expertise of the agent and a professional database of actual transaction prices, the home can be under-priced and the seller will not get the market price. 

It is therefore advisable for both the buyer and seller to trust a professional broker who follows good agency practice. 

Jussi Mannerberg  
CEO, Finnish Real Estate Agents’ Association SKVL